Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Little Sisters

It has been really fun to watch Jackson try to come into his own as a big brother over the past week, even though he still doesn't quite get the full import of what has just happened to his life. Just tonight, he got visible pleasure from making sure that Caroline's swing was rocking visibly, that the built-in rasta music was at a volume which she was certain to hear, and that she had as many pacifiers as she might need stuffed in her mouth.

I think being a big brother is probably a harder task than it gets credit for - it certainly seems more challenging in retrospect for me, because I have to wonder what sort of effect I had on my little sisters. Lord knows you don't get an instruction manual (which Shaw men have an impeccable track record of reading before departing on any task). I think it is easy to be selfish as a kid and damn-near impossible to see your own actions in the greater context of a family that is all growing up together. But somehow it all works out in the end (hopefully).

I stumbled across this picture of me and Sara at some point early in our childhood - possibly when it was just the two of us. It is a fun picture to look at, but probably wouldn't have been as pleasant if it was taken after I hid her favorite doll for several hours, a prank that I was prone to repeat every couple of months. Still, I do really enjoy having sisters and I think that Jack's gentle soul has the makings of a good older brother. Even though he is a little more stressed out this week than on last Tuesday (maybe he just got spoiled by being at Bud and Nana's, or maybe he is acting out a bit), he still is (relatively) gentle and considerate of Caroline. So far, he directs most of his angst to me or mommy, and treats her with equal parts awe and the sort of curiosity one brings to biology lab on dissection day.

Good luck, little guy. It's a tall order to be a good big brother, but I'll be with you the whole way.

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